Agenda and minutes

Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee - Tuesday, 27th June 2023 6.00 pm

Venue: Committee Rooms 1-2, City Hall. View directions

Contact: Victoria Poulson, Democratic Services Officer  (01522 873461)

No. Item




Apologies for absence were received from Councillor Aiden Wells. Councillor Clare Smalley was in attendance as substitute.



Confirmation of Minutes - 8 March 2023 pdf icon PDF 146 KB


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 8 March 2023 be confirmed and signed by the Chair as an accurate record.



Declarations of Interest

Please note that, in accordance with the Members' Code of Conduct, when declaring interests members must disclose the existence and nature of the interest, and whether it is a disclosable pecuniary interest (DPI) or personal and/or pecuniary.


No declarations of interest were received.


Change to Order of Business


RESOLVED that the order of business be amended to allow the agenda item entitled ‘Low Wages in the City of Lincoln’ to be considered as the next agenda item.



Low Wages in the City of Lincoln


Councillor Calum Watt, Chair of the Community Leadership Scrutiny Committee, opened the meeting with a brief introduction to guest speakers and the topics of discussion which were Low Wages in the City of Lincoln and an update on the Cultural Consortium.


The Committee received a presentation from Simon Beardsley, (CEO, Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and Managing Director, Lincoln BIG) and Rob Johnston, (Policy and Campaigns Officer, Trades Union Congress Midlands). During consideration of the presentation, the following points were noted: -


  • The Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey, Quarter 2 2023 showed domestic sale had improved however 30% had reported a worse level
  • Overseas sales were in the worst state in fifteen years
  • Half of employers had tried to increase their employee numbers with 25% being successful. 86% however had experienced difficulty
  • 30% of businesses had increased investment in training
  • The total number of advertisements for job roles were at peak levels and further to concerns of rising inflation, businesses indicated 43% worsened cash flow
  • Confidence has risen slightly and there were positive indicators that inflation would begin to come down
  • Inflation, utility bills and labour costs remained the primary concern for respondents of the survey
  • Median rates of pay in Lincoln were 10% lower than the UK average with 1 in 4 individuals within the City paid below the National Living Wage
  • The median annual wage increased by 8.1% in Greater Lincolnshire between 2021 and 2022, compared to 6.8% nationally.
  • There had been a number of high profile cases within the media that exposed organisations such as Argos, M&S and WH Smith, that paid a low wage
  • Inflation as of May 2023 was 8.7% and the year on year increased in fuel and electricity was 88.5%
  • The rate of pay had increased but the rise in inflation resulted in the pay gap widening
  • Predictions showed a decrease in the rate of inflation approximately 2% over the coming year
  • Vulnerability figures showed that 16.8% of people in Lincoln were in fuel poverty, 8.8% lived with food insecurity and 16.8% received low pay
  • The economy was challenging, and cost pressures were likely to continue with businesses likely to remain uncertain of growth prospects
  • Automation had become more prevalent and recruitment difficulties had resulted in business’ that had changed to secure retention of staff.


The Chair thanked Simon Beardsley for the informative presentation.


The Committee received a presentation from Rob Johnston, (Policy and Campaigns Officer, Trades Union Congress Midlands). During consideration of the presentation, the following points were noted: -


  • There was an ongoing historical crisis in rates of pay and the average weekly wage was £497.00, the same as in November 2005
  • East Midlands was a low pay region with a low wage trap that needed to be broken
  • Lincoln was notoriously difficult to access with limited public transport and an absence of a motorway
  • Lincolnshire suffered with hidden rural poverty with 1 in 4 paid below the National Living Wage
  • The jobs that were available within Lincoln were  ...  view the full minutes text for item 42.


Cultural Consortium Update


Simon Walters (Director for Communities and Environment) introduced the item with an overview and background on the purpose of the discussion which was to receive an update on the creation of a cultural consortium following a successful award of funding to the University of Lincoln. 


During consideration of the presentation, the following points were noted:


  • Collaborative work with the University of Lincoln and key cultural delivery partner, Zest Theatre, had started over a year ago
  • There had been a significant number of events over the last six to eight months to drive culture within the City
  • Further to the engagement of 1,094 young people by Zest Theatre between January and March 2022, a framework of six maxims became the steer for a new cultural compact for Lincoln
  • The cultural programme had been funded by Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) and had enabled the build of cultural talent at grass-root level
  • The grant received was for a total of £102,000
  • The ambition was for creative commissioning, working with young people to invigorate the High Street with a contemporary interpretation of its history and future
  • Frequency Festival, the International Festival of Digital Culture had been very successful and had enabled connection with the public through interaction with key heritage sites and engagement with historic stories and materials
  • HAZ funding enabled expansion and visibility of the festival programme within the City which welcomed over 15,000 visitors over the four day period
  • In July 2022, 12,000 visitors attended Lincoln’s 1940’s weekend which featured a 1940’s inspired shop window advert trail, curated by a local artist, Emma Taylor
  • An event entitled ‘South of the Tracks’ showcased a diverse line-up of live music from talented Lincolnshire acts to celebrate Lincoln’s High Street post Covid-19
  • The event recorded 14,740 engagements during a six hour period. It was anticipated that the event would return next year
  • The City of Lincoln Council (CoLC) grant funded Pride which attracted more than 6,500 people over the course of the day
  • In addition to increased footfall within HAZ areas, online interaction with the HAZ logo branded posts on social media reached a combined exposure level of over 2,400 accounts
  • An event entitled ‘Festival of Street Theatre’ was enjoyed by over 500 people, right in the heart of the City Centre in April 2023
  • Lincoln Christmas Market 2022 experienced the largest attendance on record with over 320,000 visitors to the four day event. Social media engagement included a reach of 882,236 people in the two week lead up to the event
  • Funding had been provided for a Christmas light trail which would also feature in Christmas 2023 plans for the City. In addition, Lincoln Business Improvement Group (BIG) funded the installation of a large, illuminated reindeer on the waterfront
  • ‘Trailtale’ incorporated the use of an app that helped direct visitors across the City to experience walking through Lincoln’s hidden high street histories. The total app downloads/users exceeded 3,000 for the City
  • Significant investment had helped create a local art consortium entitled, ‘A Mash Up!!’  ...  view the full minutes text for item 43.


Work Programme 2023 pdf icon PDF 106 KB

Additional documents:


Consideration was given to the Committee’s Work Programme. Further to scoping discussions, the Democratic Services Officer confirmed that the focus of the Committee’s work for the remainder of the calendar year would include an update on the Poverty Truth Commission and Long Term and Emergency Housing.


It was agreed that the Poverty Truth Commission update would be brought before the Committee in July 2023. The Democratic Services Officer advised that confirmation of attendance had been received from Charlotte Brooks, Director, LocalMotion.


It was agreed that consideration of Emergency Housing would be brought before the Committee in September 2023. The Democratic Services Officer confirmed that further to scoping discussions, attendance would be requested from YMCA and LEAP Housing.


The Chair added that discussions would take place further to the meeting, regarding an invitation for Sukhy Johal MBE, Director of the Centre for Culture and Creativity, University of Lincoln, to attend later in the calendar year.


Further to the recent Health Scrutiny meeting held on 17 May 2023, the Chair requested that Lincolnshire Partnership Foundation Trust (LPFT) be invited back before the Committee for an update on the temporary Closure of Lincolnshire's Male Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) - The Hartsholme Centre. The Democratic Services Officer confirmed that the item would be brought before the Committee during the first meeting of the new calendar year, 2024.


Date of Next Meeting: Tuesday 11 July 2023.